MY BUSY WEEK


"Philanthropy is the ability to recognise our shared humanity and treat others in a way that enhances mutual dignity”.

Mrs Jeannette Kagame, First Lady, Rwanda

I recently hadanother uniqueopportunity to witness the special gift of philanthropy at work and to see how the gift of a generous heart and the desire to help others can be passed from parent to child.

On the 26thto 27thof October, I was privileged to join the Higher Life Foundation team and its founder, my dear friend Mrs Tsitsi Masiyiwa at the African Philanthropy Forum, which took place in Kigali Rwanda. It was a pivotal event, which addressed various topics including ways to protect and build the capacity of Africa’s human capital and talents.

It was heart-warming for me to listen to, among others, Rwanda’s First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame, speak about how the country was rebounding from its tragic past. She spoke about how, in the last decade, the country had witnessed the sinister side of humanity when over one million members of the Tutsi tribe were slaughtered. She recognised philanthropy as “ubuntu” or human-ness andit is the“ability to recognise our shared humanity and treat others in a way that enhances mutual dignity".

Also speaking at the event was Her Royal Highness, the Queen of Buganda Kingdom, Uganda, Sylvia Nagginda, who urged the private and public sectors to work together to serve the society, stating that"we must leverage culture and tradition”. I was further honoured to spend some time discussing privately with the Queen on balancing the good use of culture in today’s society and appreciated her passion to integrate culture in development programmes.

One of the most striking speakers for me at the conference was Elizabeth Tanya Masiyiwa, who while speaking during the section on'Africa’s Next Generation of Social Actors' she made a profound statement about the impact her parents had in developing her passion to find sustainable solutions to the world’s pressing issues. She reiterated a story her Mum often tells when recounting how she and her Dad, Dr Strive Masiyiwa founded the Higher Foundation, telling us how her Mum decided that to be able to make any real impact in the lives of the children, she would need to understand life through their eyes. She therefore, decided to practically live in orphanages with them, sleep where they slept, eat what they ate and live as they lived. Elizabeth told us that she often went with her Mum to the orphanages and that many of the children she bonded with became and still are her friends.

Elizabeth went on to talk about how those experiences produced a profound sense of responsibility in her for people her own age and generation, relating how this became the cornerstone for how she defines philanthropy, which she said is“taking on the responsibility to help those who are not as fortunate as you.” Real and true philanthropy for me; is not a form of trade by barter. It comes from the heart of empathy to address the need and emptiness in humanity.

“Be [very] careful not to do your[a]good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven.

2“So whenever you give to the pooranddo acts of kindness, do not blow a trumpet before you [to advertise it], as the hypocrites do [like actors acting out a role] in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honoredandrecognizedandpraised by men. I assure youandmost solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full.3But when you give to the pooranddo acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy],

Matthew 6:1-3Amplified Bible

I was particularly intrigued by Tanya's appreciation of the impact her parents had in her life, which influenced her desire to get involved in charitable work at a very young age.

Can you reflect on the impact your parents have had in your life and how it influenced who you are today? Also what impact would you like to make in the lives of your own children? Share your thoughts with us.

Comments

O
Obianuju
Thank you my lovely Pastor Anita. You are a source of inspiration to me. God's Word in Ephesians 2:10(AMP) lets me know that I am God's work of art, reborn from above, spiritually transformed, renewed, and ready to be used for good works. I AM READY TO BE USED FOR GOOD WORKS. There are good works that God Himself prepared for me to do before I ever showed up on planet earth. Through the Spirit of God He orders my steps to walk in the paths He prepared ahead of time. That let's me know that whatever is happening in my life at this moment is in line with God's path He prepared ahead of time. He also wants me to live the good life He prepared ahead of time and made ready for me to live in. There are lots of things God has placed in my heart to do to help people to be saved and to come to know the truth of God's Word. I believe there are times of preparations. Example is seen when it took Moses 40 years to be prepared for his ministry. So when it looks like nothing is happening in our lives, I believe it's part of God's plan to prepare us for the Ministry He has for us. In due time, we will walk into the paths God prepared ahead of time that we should walk in. IT'S ALL IN DUE TIME. One of the things God placed in my heart to do is to help orphans - to teach and nurture them in God's ways of life. I lead them in the way of righteousness. To help them know who they are in Christ. I love you Pastor.
M
Michael David
Anyone who responds to others with acts of kindness is thinking of the future, this will do you more good than keeping the money for yourself.
T
Tony
I do agree that many now love to flunt what they give and show the world they are pphilanthropies. They already have their reward with men. Motives of freewill giving is very parapount. Our motives should be based on a good heart and out if compassion for humanity. God bless you Anita for sharing
D
David
Pastor Ma, am here to say a big Happy birthday ma. More fulfilled years.
D
David
Pastor Ma, am here to say a big Happy birthday ma. More fulfilled years.
S
Sophia O
Pastor, this is really heartwarming to read and I am inspired by the the words of Tanya. It reminds me of my granny who always taught me to give and give, and give again. It was after I became a christian that I saw the words of Jesus; it is more blessed to give than to receive...How I wish every christian will give towards causes that will actually improve the lives of those that need it.
D
Debs
My parents are the greatest and they simply love people. My mum loves the elderly and does her best to ensure those in her sphere of contact are taken care of and has someone to talk to. She always involves them in activities and dreams of starting a scheme that will enable her to take them on group holidays, thereby keeping them active and away from isolation. My dad is a solicitor and often does work for people without getting paid. He's empathy for the needy is amazing and he shows real compassion for those who are less fortunate. I find that I also have that empathy for people and pray it also passes on to my children. I love when people are happy and so I find myself praying for people in secret. Thank you Pastor, this article has really helped me reflect and count my blessings. God bless you richly.
K
Kunle
That was an amazing experience. The blessings of helping each other up in life in whatever ramification is beyond comprehension...its us being the hands, heart, eyes and love of God in this world of exploitation and deceit. We are all meant to support, lift and help each other, make each other better, make our environment better, anything short of that is living below OUR CALLING in life. Our calling first and foremost is to love and give of ourselves and resources to make life and other happy, fulfilled, purposeful and better than ourselves. Congratulations on your new direction.
T
Tobore
My parents helped and still help a lot of people. They have given money, paid school fees, given food, clothing, etc. I learnt how to be a giver from them and how to love everyone around me. I will teach my children the same. My children will be a light to their generation in Jesus name. Thank you Pastor for this beautiful article.
B
Bukola
Even as a teenager, I've always felt a sense of responsibility toward vulnerable children living in poverty. I definitely got it from my grandmother, the number of scholarships she gave and shelter she provided to children will only be known in heaven. I don't think I have done anything near what she has done. She has quietly changed and touched so many lives. She passed it to my mother who is the most generous person I know. I am inspiring my children too to have those virtues. My prayer is that the would grow up to be giants of love and faith in our lord jesus Christ
L
LD
One day after a hectic four hours of shopping, we were finally on our way home when my mother entered another shop and bought a loaf of bread and a packet of biscuits. I was wondering who it was for since we already had so much. Lo and behold, she presented it to a beggar. I was touched by her act of kindness and always tried to be kind and generous to people after that. Unfortunately, she died when I was still a teen, then I lost my dad three years later. I have a vision to help orphans most especially girls because they are more vulnerable to exploitation. God will help me to realise that vision. God bless ma. Another inspiring article.
L
LD
One day after a hectic four hours of shopping, we were finally on our way home when my mother entered another shop and bought a loaf of bread and a packet of biscuits. I was wondering who it was for since we already had so much. Lo and behold, she presented it to a beggar. I was touched by her act of kindness and always tried to be kind and generous to people after that. Unfortunately, she died when I was still a teen, then I lost my dad three years later. I have a vision to help orphans most especially girls because they are more vulnerable to exploitation. God will help me to realise that vision. God bless ma. Another inspiring article.
T
T.C.
I'm motivated by this piece. Africans helping Africans. It's in us to rule and lift our continent. No more begging for foreign aid. Thumbs up Mme. Anita.
S
Solomon
What a rich n impactful week you had. I inspire the kids I train to have a listening ear. Everyone is talking. I want them to be great friends with the needy and champions in their world.
T
T.C.
My late father was a hero for the defenceless. You would always find him in the courts defending the helpless. This led me into humanitarian works. Thanks for this enlightening article. Have a great month Pastor.
G
Geraldine
Beautiful!
J
JYM,Nigeria
I am so fortunate to have this link. Surely God loves me unconditionally. God is love and he has set the pattern and the way of love in the Holy scriptures. I believe every child of God was born to Love. One of the best ways to communicate love is to give. Unfortunately some people give for the right and wrong reasons. I believe giving should be born out of love. On not occasion should one be compelled to give. However we must always be at liberty to give of our resources for whatever cause we admire. I have always desired to do something for the less privileged children in my community - I wanted to give them foot wears. It hunted me that I always saw them walk around bear foot on the hot coal tar. One day I was able to achieve it. This passion is still alive in me. I would love to see my children exhibit this sort of kindness. I am training my children to trust in the Lord with all that's within them and to be helpers. I desire to see them demonstrate the character of the Spirit. My children are toddlers ,however I have made up my mind to instill the virtues as shown by Christ in them. It's our responsibility as parents to train our children up in the way they should go. I want my children looking at us (parents) as their faith hero! After all that's God's instruction to every parent. Pastor I look forward to meeting in person someday . You have the pen of a ready writer.....ready to speak forth reality! keep your pen writing ma,You have a voice that must be heard. So many perverted views to life are around the world. This post has given me greater assurance...of a truth "birds of same feathers flock together"...Jesus is Lord!
A
abiodun
Well said!
J
John
My dad died when I was 20 but he left a lasting impression in my life till today. He loved his family to bits. I remember the daily family dinner we had on the dinning table and how everyone will take some food from the lot in the center of the table. How we take it in turns to say prayers before eating. I have continued that way with my own family. Everyday I lay hands on my kids head before they head out to school.
B
Benedicta
I'm honored knowing you. You are an inspiration to me. Keep writing and I Love you. Happy Sunday
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Liz Donaholu
Very thoughtful and a good place to make genuine adjustment.
F
Frau Glauben
Thank you Pastor for sharing with us your inspirational trip.I was touched by the testimony of Ms.Masiyiwa who started at an early age to relate with those our sisters & brothers in the orphanage. We were involved in helping others when I was growing up. But never to the level of actually moving in to experience what their lives were actually like as Ms.Masiyiwa did. For that, I commend her for her passion and love for those who were not as privileged. For me, this is a challenge to do more and care more about those in need. Although I have been sharing with my children the importance of helping others, I see the importance of making it ones life passion to be there for others because everything Jesus did, he did it with passion.
O
Olohitae
I am so privileged to have parents who are my greatest cheerleaders. They make me believe that there is nothing I can't achieve as long as God is my father. The beauty is I can easily accept and believe and receive God's best and know He would never give up on me because I have a father with God's heart. I am trying each day to show the same love of God to my son and be his greatest cheerleader setting great examples in my interactions with humanity. I pray I achieve that and my son Wisdom keeps the torch of God's love burning to the next generation. Thanks Pastor Anita
M
Mwape
Thank you for sharing your week and insights with me. I love you
U
Uzo
This is amazing. It just reminded of my father who happens to be one of my role model. He taught us to always open our doors to stranded people and offer whatever assistance we can to people around us. I was discussing with my younger sister a while ago and she was telling me about how she is going to house a stranded friend for 2 months and I know it is because of that seed of kindness that my father has sown in hearts.
B
Blessing.
Thanks pastor Anita for such a wonderful inspiring testimony Yes philanthropy is not trade by barter hoping to get something in return But doing it as unto The Lord
J
Jimmy
That was an amazing experience. The blessings of helping each other up in life in whatever ramification is beyond comprehension...its us being the hands, heart, eyes and love of God in this world of exploitation and deceit. We are all meant to support, lift and help each other, make each other better, make our environment better, anything short of that is living below OUR CALLING in life. Our calling first and foremost is to love and give of ourselves and resources to make life and other happy, fulfilled, purposeful and better than ourselves. Congratulations on your new direction.